Part 3: From 800 to 2,400 Spotify Followers in 30 Days: The Lili Kendall Case Study
How Lili Kendall tripled her Spotify following in 30 days.
A native of Brisbane, Australia, Kendall released her full-length album “love, herself” this spring. Kendall’s music is poppy and soulful, feminine and empowered. In March 2020, Kendall took ToneDen’s Spotify Growth Playbook for a thirty-day ride. She discovered that she could increase her exposure in Discover Weekly and other algorithmic playlists by promoting her Spotify profile through powerful Instagram Story ads.
Swipe Up Instagram Story Ads
After launching the playbook, Kendall’s daily streams jumped from 400 to 1500—then to 3000 by the end of the month (a 650% increase). She went from getting 0% of her streams from Spotify algorithmic playlists to 15%.
She rapidly accelerated the virtuous cycle of Spotify Followers. Thirty days of sustained promotion through Instagram Stories sent people to Lili Kendall’s Spotify artist profile, led to increased placement on Discover Weekly and Release Radar, and caused a huge uptick in her streams.
How did Kendall monitor her progress? How any artist in 2020 monitors their progress on Spotify: with the Spotify for Artists tool. It's a must.
The audience tab on the Spotify for Artists dashboard shows you follower growth, daily stream growth, and the source of your streams. Lili and her team saw that using ToneDen led to a significant increase in her overall followers, as well as the number of streams and listeners she gained each day:
Lili Kendall's 650% Increase in Streams
The source of those streams is valuable information. Spotify for Artists breaks out the sources like this:
Source of Streams via Spotify for Artists Dashboard
Your profile and catalog These streams come from listeners who go directly to your artist profile or specific song/album pages–as direct as you can get when it comes to streams. Listener's own playlists and library These streams come from listeners saving and creating their own playlists. When a fan plays one of your songs in the Liked Songs section of their library, that song is counted toward this category, which also covers playlists that fan creates. If a fan included your song on their gym playlist “Workout Bangers,” listening to that song on that playlist would be accounted for here. Other listeners playlists These streams come from human-curated playlists compiled by influencers or non-Spotify organizations. Spotify algorithmic playlists These streams come from non-human curated playlists owned by Spotify: Discover Weekly, Release Radar, Daily Mix, Spotify Radio, and more. Spotify editorial playlists These streams are from playlists curated by humans on the Spotify editorial team. Other These streams come from smart devices like TVs, wearables, and smart speakers like Amazon’s Alexa.
Monitoring how the percentage of streams you get from Spotify algorithmic playlists grows over time lets you see if you're getting increased placement in algorithmic playlists. Lili Kendall knew the strategy was working when she went from 0% to 15% without doing any other kind of promotion.
Of all these sources, what artists need to pay the most attention to is Listener's own playlists and library. This is where an artist stands to get the most incremental streams.
Say one fan streams your song ten times. While that first stream comes from discovering the song on a particular playlist, streams two through ten come from “Liked Songs.” That means someone heard your song in a playlist, went to their Liked Songs, hit Shuffle Play, or sought out the song directly. This is a perfect example of the exponential power of getting streams from algorithmic playlists—and Lili Kendall’s stats reflect it.
Spending $5-$10/day on Instagram advertising to promote algorithmic playlisting, Lili Kendall got:
2.9k streams on Discover Weekly
785 streams on Spotify Radio
600 streams on Daily Mix Nearly
200 streams on Release Radar
For independent playlisting to yield comparable results would take hours and hours—and a significant cash investment. With algorithmic playlists, none of that trouble, time, or effort is required. Lili Kendall gets to focus on making music—not marketing it.
In this swiftly-shifting streaming era, growing on Spotify means taking advantage of the platform’s internal distribution networks—in other words, algorithmic playlists and the Virtuous Cycle of Spotify Followers. Ready to grab the reins and see these kinds of results for yourself? Read on to learn how ToneDen enters the equation.